Frequently Asked Questions

AAQEP is currently working with SEAs of its early adopters to establish a list of essentials and non-negotiables to create a pattern of collaboration and a template agreement for SEAs to adapt or adopt. AAQEP strives to create a partnership agreement that serves as a reference document that frames the work of accreditation and helps AAQEP and its volunteers understand the unique context under which the SEA and EPPs operate.

AAQEP offers a tiered fee structure to EPPs that become members. Affiliate membership, for programs that wish to show their support for AAQEP but may not be in the position for full membership, is a flat fee of $1,200. The full membership option, based on the number of completers, ranges from $2,500 to $5,000. Full membership ensures (a) participation in the accreditation system, (b) access to formative peer review, (c) member rates for AAQEP events, and (d) regular updates from AAQEP. The fees and benefits associated with the “Individual Membership” category will be available soon. 

Costs for on-site program reviews will be finalized soon with a focus group of early adopters. Costs for state agencies are likewise being determined with a focus group of interested state officials. 

Our aim is to develop a quality assurance system that responds to national, state, and local priorities; that documents program quality transparently; and that facilitates innovation and improvement rather than conformity and compliance. We are interested in finding a new way to leverage SPAs’ expertise. A new working group is developing plans for this relationship. If you are interested in being part of this conversation, please let us know.

AAQEP honors status granted by accreditors that hold U.S. Department of Education or Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognition. We extend pre-accreditation recognition to a new member’s education programs, based on the accreditation status awarded, through the end of the recognition period granted by said accreditor. This recognition policy is posted here.

AAQEP’s process aligns with the recognition standards of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). We will pursue official recognition as soon as we are eligible to do so; for both CHEA and USDE, a complete application includes at least one completed accreditation case. AAQEP anticipates completing its first two to four cases by the end of May 2019.

AAQEP Standard 1 focuses on performance at the point of program completion; Standard 2 focuses on completers’ ability to adapt to the various contexts in which they practice and to grow professionally. So evidence for Standard 2 must include information from completers’ experience after they leave the program. That data is valued for what can be learned from it regarding program performance and potential improvement.

Yes. The AAQEP process looks at data disaggregated at the certificate- or license-program level, as well as by program site and mode of delivery. So both aggregate and individual-program performance is considered.

In states that mandate accreditation, providers must include in their accreditation work everything that the state requires to be included. In addition to that, at its own discretion, a provider may choose to include additional programs that serve education professionals, regardless of whether or not they lead to a credential. In states that do not mandate accreditation, providers have discretion over what to include in their accreditation effort; they must, however, be clear in all public statements and postings about what is and is not included in the accreditation status.

AAQEP’s stance is to ensure quality in all educator preparation programs, as recognized by their respective state education agencies and national standards. We are already working with EPPs not directly connected to an institution of higher education (IHE) and hope to continue to assist other non-IHE certification programs to embrace the concepts of quality assurance and quality improvement. 

All preparation providers seeking accreditation through AAQEP are placed in a cohort of institutions that anticipate completing the accreditation process at approximately the same time. The aims of establishing cohorts are to coordinate efficient communication between AAQEP and providers and to foster collaboration among providers. Each cohort has an assigned staff liaison at AAQEP to facilitate communication and technical assistance. Collaboration among providers is optional; many providers engage in regional or state-based collaboration around improvement and quality assurance efforts.

Because this expectation falls under the “contextual challenges” section of the standards, the approaches for both addressing the standard and measuring impact will vary from context to context. Especially in the first round of accreditation bids, we expect substantial exploration of new approaches and new measures. Another aspect of the standards will be relevant here as well—namely the expectation that stakeholders will be engaged in the process of addressing the standard and gathering evidence of impact.

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